Sunday 21 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
A diplomatic spat over cows and chickens has worsened already frosty ties between Kenya and Tanzania, with Nairobi lodging a formal protest against its neighbour, the foreign minister said Wednesday. The latest impasse between the two east African nations began last month when Tanzania seized and auctioned off 1,300 cattle which had wandered across the border to graze in a region where herders typically pay little heed to frontiers. Then, last week, Tanzania seized and burnt alive 6,500 chicks that had been brought into the country by a trader, fearing they would spread disease. Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said the country's representative at the East African Community (EAC)...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Deadlock over the allocation of leadership posts has forced Kenya’s parliament into an unscheduled three-week recess, lawmakers said on Wednesday, indicating a protracted political crisis could reverberate beyond the October election. Political stalemate has gripped Kenya, East Africa’s most advanced economy and an ally of the West against militant Islam, since the Supreme Court annulled the results of the Aug. 8 presidential elections on procedural grounds and ordered a re-run. The repeat election was held on Oct. 26 but opposition leader Raila Odinga boycotted the vote, saying it would be unfair. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won a second, five-year term with 98 percent...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have all the kit they need to put theory into practice, thanks to a mobile science lab that tours selected state schools. "It's an exciting experience. We were being taught only the theoretical aspect of science subjects," Amadu, who wants to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Tuesday he wants an interim government to run the country for six months while the constitution is reviewed to curb the president’s authority. Odinga told Reuters in an interview that he was open to talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta over a constitutional review aimed at lowering the risk of violence from minority groups who feel excluded from power. Kenyatta was re-elected with 98 percent of the vote on Oct. 26 after Odinga boycotted the election, saying it would not be fair. The repeat presidential vote followed an election in August, which Kenyatta also won but which was nullified by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds. Odinga’s supporters have repeatedly protested...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
Kenya's Supreme Court received two petitions Monday to overturn the result of last month's presidential election, which was already a re-run poll ordered by the court after it annulled an earlier vote in August. In a flurry of legal activity before the midnight deadline to challenge the October 26 vote, the Supreme Court also received a petition to declare opposition leader Raila Odinga guilty of electoral offences linked to his boycott of the re-run. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta won the election with 98 percent. However, only 38.8 percent of registered voters turned out to vote, on a day marked by violent protests and chaos at polling stations in opposition strongholds. A first petition was filed by former lawmaker and businessman...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong has been suspended for four years for doping, Athletics Kenya said Tuesday. "Sumgong will serve the four-year ban as from (April 3) when she was provisionally suspended," Athletics Kenya said in a statement. The 32-year-old tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO in an out-of-competition test by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in her native Kenya. Erythropoietin is a natural hormone that stimulates red cell production. For a runner, injecting an artificially produced version increases oxygen absorption which allows them to run harder and faster without tiring. Sumgong, who also tested positive for a banned substance in 2012, starred at the London Marathon in 2016, defying the odds to win despite...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong has been handed a four-year ban by Kenya’s anti-doping agency (ADAK) after testing positive for the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO), officials said on Tuesday. Officials said Sumgong, who became the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic marathon title when she struck gold in Rio last year, had failed an out of competition test in April, days before she was due to defend her London Marathon title. Her four-year ban has been backdated to April 3. The matter was taken to the Sports Disputes Tribunal by ADAK, as recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code. The ruling said that the athlete owned up to her “unfortunate offense and unintended mistake.” She...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think that given the right regulatory environment, the growth could be even better,” Justin Spratt, head of business development for the sub-Saharan region, told Reuters. “Africa’s growth thus far has been faster than America and a large part of that is...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - A former lawmaker filed a petition at Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in last month’s presidential election in a last minute move that opens the door to legal scrutiny of the vote. Harun Mwau filed the petition hours before a Monday deadline set by the constitution expired. Earlier in the day, a coalition of civil society groups said they were being targeted by the government in an effort to head off potential legal cases. The Supreme Court has until Nov. 14 to rule on election petitions. If it upholds the result, Kenyatta will be sworn in on Nov. 28. Kenyatta came to power in 2013 and won a second and final term...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
The chief photographer for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in east Africa appeared in court Monday after 48 hours in police custody, charged with trespassing on a property belonging to the president's family. Japanese photographer Yasuyoshi Chiba, 46, was arrested on Friday afternoon at a farm belonging to the Brookside dairy company which is owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta's family. He had gone to photograph the company logo after the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) named Brookside as one of three companies its supporters should boycott as part of a "resistance" campaign following disputed presidential elections. Chiba, accompanied by an AFP driver...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum. “But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
A controversial set of amendments to Kenya's electoral act became law on Thursday, just days after a divisive presidential poll boycotted by the opposition. The amendments, condemned by the opposition as well as Kenya's foreign allies, were automatically gazetted after President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta failed to sign the bill within 14 days or send it back to parliament. Lawmakers from Kenyatta's Jubilee Party introduced the amendments after the Supreme Court annulled an August 8 election due to "irregularities and illegalities" and mismanagement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Coming ahead of the re-run, the opposition saw the planned bill as a means to enshrine...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
Raila Odinga, Kenya's veteran opposition leader and one-time prime minister, on Tuesday promised a campaign of civil disobedience and protest against a presidential election he boycotted last week, keeping alive his long-held dream of winning the nation's top job. The 72-year-old has been a mainstay of Kenyan politics since the 1980s, but despite four attempts has never won the presidency. Instead he seems to have inherited the political misfortune of his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, who led the opposition for three decades but never the country. For this year's election, originally held in August, Odinga led a coalition called the National Super Alliance (NASA)...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga vowed Tuesday not to accept a "sham" election, declaring he would push for a fresh vote through a campaign of civil disobedience and peaceful protest. He did not indicate whether he would file suit again at the country's paramount court to have the election annulled. In his first reaction since his rival Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of last Thursday's presidential ballot, Odinga denounced the vote that he had boycotted as a "charade."
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday called for pickets and petitions against an election he boycotted last week won by President Uhuru Kenyatta but stopped short of appealing for mass protests or announcing a court challenge to the result. Odinga pulled out of the vote saying it would be unfair because the election board had failed to implement reforms after the Supreme Court cited procedural irregularities and annulled an Aug. 8 vote that had been won by Kenyatta. Odinga said the Oct. 26 result would not stand but did not announce measures likely to overturn it or force the government to negotiate. He said his opposition coalition would form a people’s assembly to study issues of...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
Kenya was once again left waiting Tuesday, as embattled opposition leader Raila Odinga prepared to lay out his strategy following a boycott of last week's protest-hit elections that handed President Uhuru Kenyatta a landslide win. Thursday's contest saw Kenyatta winning a decisive victory with 98 percent of the vote, hailing the result as a vindication of his victory in an initial August poll which was later overturned by the country's Supreme Court. But it proved to be a bittersweet victory. Turnout was just 38.8 percent, which is likely to raise questions over the credibility of a vote that has deeply polarised the East African nation, sparking months of bitter infighting, legal wrangling and violent protest. "This was nothing more than...
(Bloomberg 10/31/17)
Kenya’s main opposition alliance said it won’t challenge the results that gave President Uhuru Kenyatta a landslide victory in last week’s disputed election rerun in court and instead vowed to mobilize its supporters to press for a another vote. “This election must not stand,” opposition leader Raila Odinga told reporters in Nairobi, the capital. “If allowed to stand, it will make a complete mockery of elections and might well be the end of the ballot as a means of instituting government in Kenya.” Supporters of Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta dance and wave flags.Photographer: Luis Tato/Bloomberg Musalia Mudavadi, a senior leader of Odinga’s four-party National Super Alliance, said that while private citizens may challenge the election in court, the coalition won’t...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
GISHARU, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - On the edge of Mt. Suswa, an active volcano in southwest Kenya’s Rift Valley, Kipas Ole Masiodo checks on volcanic steam rising from cracks in the ground, careful not to let any go to waste. As prolonged drought dries water reserves across Kenya, harvesting these fleeting wisps of water vapor near Masiodo’s home has been a lifeline for his family and community. “It is clean and safe for drinking,” the 35-year-old said. “It is not much, but it is better than traveling to distant sources to look for water.” Using aluminum sheets and a concrete tank, his community traps the steam, which when cooled can become drinking water. Masiodo said a single steam trap...
(Xinhuanet 10/31/17)
Jane Mukami was rattled when the skies opened, paving way for torrential rains that threatened to destroy 50 kilograms of rice she had just harvested in her farm in central Kenya. Having lost her entire harvest in previous heavy downpours, Mukami had to be innovative enough to cushion herself from a similar predicament that not only sapped her energy but also depleted her revenue base. At the same time, selling her rice immediately after harvesting is not an option for Mukami due to a glut that has affected demand. To preserve her rice better, Mukami uses clay pots which she first smears with cooking oil before pouring in the cereal -- in this way the rice can stay for longer...

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